McClatchy: Dem group urges candidates to campaign against money in politics
By Alex Roarty
A political group trying to drive big money out of politics is endorsing three House Democratic candidates – and declaring it an electoral necessity that the party adopt an aggressive message of campaign finance reform.
The ideological diversity of those districts is no accident, say the group’s leaders. The endorsements make a broader point that Democratic candidates running in all types of districts should run embrace a platform of reducing the importance of money in politics.
That’s not a new stance for End Citizens United, whose name is a nod to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Supreme Court decision that helped pave the way for super PACs and other free-spending groups. But the group argues the message has special resonance now for an electorate convinced Washington is in the grip of moneyed interests – and at a time when Democratic candidates are in a desperate search for a fresh approach.
“You’re seeing candidates running on a bold reform message, and it’s important to recognize that’s a message that works in any district we’re targeting,” said Tyler Law, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It resonates on either end of the ideological spectrum and for everybody in between.”
Politico: End Citizens United builds a case — and trove of data — for reform campaigns
By Maggie Severns
End Citizens United has a message for Democrats seeking a 2018 message: Don’t forget about campaign finance reform. And the progressive PAC is touting polling that shows it could be a big help with independent voters in the midterm elections.
The trove of information collected through polls and focus groups, shared exclusively with POLITICO, makes the case that well-crafted messages on money in politics tie into the so-called “kitchen table” issues, like jobs and health care, that are most critical to the voters who have been slipping out of Democrats’ fold.
In a new poll of 50 top House battleground districts in early September, for example, independent voters ranked reducing the role of special interests behind only one other issue — national security — in terms of importance. That finding was consistent with other national and state polling End Citizens United conducted in the last year and a half.
One of the first steps, Muller said, is to jettison jargon and talk about special interests in plain terms. Even for End Citizens United, that means not saying the words “Citizens United.”
“People think Citizens United is an insurance company. That’s what they talk about in focus groups,” Muller said. “They think they’ve seen the TV ads about it.”
“What we have found is that the amount of money in politics has fundamentally eroded voters’ trust in the system. We understand that things like jobs, and increasing wages, and lowering healthcare cost are all being impacted by the amount of money special interest is putting into the system.”
“This is one of the things where Republicans are really out of steps with voters – and with their voters. The only place this is partisan is in the halls of Congress. And Democrats have a real opportunity here. This is a chance to meet voters where they’re at. They are angry about the special interest money drowning out their voices and pushing an agenda that just benefits those special interests. And we have a chance to talk about unrigging the system and giving the voice back to the American people. That’s a message that appeals to Democrats. It appeals to everyone from base Democrats to Independents to unaffiliated voters to Republicans.”